South Africa


Big problems with South Africa’s proposed cannabis laws

The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, tabled in parliament on 1 September, provides clarity around the growing and private use of cannabis in South Africa.

While the bill can be seen as the first step in a revised, progressive approach to cannabis in the country, the proposed legislation also throws up a number of red flags, says law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.


South Africa and Medical marijuana: The debate about the pros and cons continues

The extract of Cannabis sativa (marijuana) was once one of the most highly prescribed medicines in the United States — until its prohibition in 1937. After becoming illegal, the use of the drug for medicinal purposes became restricted, however, in recent years, when some states decided to legalise smoked marijuana for individual patients, medical marijuana became a subject of contentious debate.

On the one hand, The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and considers it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and meth and are considered to be dangerous drugs because they’re highly addictive and may cause “severe psychological or physical dependence”.


Government working on new cannabis laws for South Africa

The Department of Social Development says that it is in the process of developing new legislation around the possession and use of cannabis in South Africa.

In a ‘national drug master plan‘ published on Thursday (25 June), the department said that the new rules would be in line with the September 2018 Constitutional Court ruling on private use.


Marijuana: Africa could be the next giant cannabis grower in the world

South Africa is optimistic that it can bring cannabis to produce a million-dollar business as the countries fights for its legality.

Africa is getting ready to take over the world of cannabis farming as its several countries fight for the legality of the leaf drug.  For years, Africa had domesticated cannabis for a lot of reasons.

Smoking pots have been traced back to the 14th-century pipes. Ethiopian pipes are among the most common sources of cannabis trackings. However, with the church’s accession in colonial times, cannabis was banned.


Updates on laws around cannabis cultivation in South Africa

Currently, South Africa is one of only three African countries that permit the cultivation of medical cannabis, notes Darryl Bernstein, partner and head of dispute resolution, and Rui Lopes, associate, dispute resolution, Baker McKenzie Johannesburg.

In South Africa, a licence for cannabis production can be obtained, but the processes for its provision are stringent, Baker McKenzie said.

Further recent legal developments in the country point to a growing attempt to harness the plant’s potential and ensure adequate control of the cultivation and sale of cannabis products.

Below, Bernstein and Lopes navigate through the current cannabis legislation in South Africa.


Israel: How Do You Export Cannabis in the Time of Coronavirus?

It’s tough to be stuck in the house, especially if you want to save the world. Or at least your company. Some Israelis are finding ways to do business that would under non-coronaviral conditions require them to fly.


South Africa Introduces Some of the Most Lax Laws on Cannabis Yet

After years of banning cannabis in all forms, South Africa is quickly jumping through hoops to become one of the more lenient countries when it comes to using cannabis, and a likely massive competitor in the world hemp growing market.


Countries Around the World Make Moves to Decriminalize Cannabis

In late 2019, a ruling by Italy's highest court struck down the prohibition against growing marijuana at home, ending a long legal dispute over that issue.

The court ruled that “at home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded from the application of the penal code,” according to the New York Times.


South Africa approves country’s first cannabis college

South Africa is adding its name to the list of countries ready to provide residents with higher education.

The Eastern Cape’s Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform has been given the green light for the creation and development of a cannabis college that will train wannabe weed workers to cultivate and distribute the drug.

The facility is set to break ground in the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality in Lusisiki, thanks to the location’s excellent environmental conditions for growing the crop.

Local authorities hope that the college will provide residents of the struggling province with job opportunities and revitalize the local economy.


Cannabis in South Africa: the duplicity of colonial authorities

The history of cannabis in South Africa contains two particular trajectories that were sometimes in direct contradiction with one another.

The one, the 100-year-old effort to prohibit its use. The other, a history of colonial governments and administrators trying to develop cannabis in order to make money out of it.

These two paths began to develop in earnest after 1916.


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